back to article Death to DRM, we'll kill it in a decade, chants EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has used the DEF CON hacking conference to launch a campaign to stamp out digital-rights management (DRM) technology. In an ironic twist, the cyber-rights warriors hope to use the hated Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to kill off mechanisms that attempt to thwart piracy and …

  1. Graham Marsden
    Holmes

    "when one party in a suicide pact pulls out, the other one does too"

    Is it a suicide pact when Corporate America is holding a gun to your head...?

  2. earl grey Silver badge
    Mushroom

    can't happer soon enough

    that is all

  3. Christian Berger Silver badge

    People slowly realise how much of a problem it is

    Seriously, a German computer magazine recently published an account of their reader. He had a Xerox printer and bought some original toner of Xerox. Turns out the toner was region coded for eastern Europe, and his printer was region coded for western Europe. Xerox didn't want to help him, so eventually he bought some counterfit chips of Alibaba to put them onto the cartridges.

    We must stop the insanity of DRM now.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: People slowly realise how much of a problem it is

      WTF?

      ¿Who thinks of region coding toner?

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        Re: People slowly realise how much of a problem it is

        Makes perfect sense. The price that maximises profit in Eastern Europe is lower than the price that maximises profit in Western Europe. If they can discriminate then they will.

        It's the same principle as student discounts. Students have less money, but there's still a profit to be made, but not if you lower all your prices to levels that students will pay. So keep your prices high and offer a specific student discount.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          @Mycho -- Re: People slowly realise how much of a problem it is

          Student discounts, etc. do another thing which is often overlooked. It's marketing ploy. Hook them as a student and you probably will have a customer for life. Back in the early days, Apple sold their computers at very low prices to school systems. Ok.. it was a good thing for education but many of the kids loved the Apple. They still do. The downside was that when they were no longer students and went to buy an Apple for themselves, the price was too high.

      2. N2 Silver badge

        Re: People slowly realise how much of a problem it is

        "Who thinks of region coding toner?"

        should be put against a wall and shot

      3. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: People slowly realise how much of a problem it is

        ¿Who thinks of region coding toner?

        The same people who will happily insist that because someone in outer Mongolia can sell a pint of milk for 11p that is what they will pay here.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: People slowly realise how much of a problem it is

          The same people who will happily insist that because someone in outer Mongolia can sell a pint of milk for 11p that is what they will pay here.

          Yes, but the pint from outer Mongolia isn't region coded for Mongolian stomachs…

      4. tesmith47

        Re: People slowly realise how much of a problem it is

        greedy blood sucking corporations, they are not satisfied with adequate profit , they want every penny they can wring out of the public no matter what the consequences

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: People slowly realise how much of a problem it is

      The EU could help here, but probably won't. It they made it illegal to discriminate on trade & sales by electronic means not just on inter-EU sales, but on sales and services brought in from outside the EU then region coding world-wide would be a goner. By a toner cartridge from Australia or whatever and it won't work? Then sue Xerox in EU for illegal regionalisation.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: People slowly realise how much of a problem it is

        Wouldn't that just cause transnationals to bail out of the EU and avoid the sovereign reach? Barring a treaty, one country isn't able to tell another country what to do, and in situations such as these, there will usually be one country willing to cheat.

        1. djack

          Re: People slowly realise how much of a problem it is

          "Wouldn't that just cause transnationals to bail out of the EU"

          No. They wouldn't abandons Uchida a massive market.. and if being anti-consumer, anti-security and total lock-out freaks is more important to them than trading with the European then we're better off without them.

          It's the same argument as paying bankers massive bonuses and letting Starbucks and Amazon get away without paying tax. They may threaten to move away but they are almost certainly not going to abandon the market and profits here and if they do.. good riddance, there are plenty of local people who will do the job.

          1. Roq D. Kasba

            Re: People slowly realise how much of a problem it is

            I experienced exactly this with a UK-purchased EPSON inkjet MFP and trying to buy ink for it in UAE whilst working out there. We had to get it shipped from the UK in the end.

    3. Wade Burchette

      Re: People slowly realise how much of a problem it is

      The problem with DRM is that the only ones it punishes are legitimate people. The copyright infringers will always find a way to break the DRM. But Big Media is uber-paranoid; they believe everyone stays awake at night dreaming of ways to download and give away copyrighted work for free. They will fight this all the way to the US Supreme Court, and if they lose there they will try to "explain" to the US Congress, by means of a big suitcase full of money, why a constitutional amendment is required.

  4. Trollslayer Silver badge

    Why I buy Epson printers

    You can get refills.

    HP sell cheap printers and extremely expensive cartridges with DRM.

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: Why I buy Epson printers

      I'm guessing the printers are cheaper to buy because some of the true cost is spread over the price of the refills.

      But HP don't want to make refills cheaper and printers more expensive because in that case they would expect fewer printer sales - the average home user buying on upfront cost rather than running costs.

    2. Citizen99

      Re: Why I buy Epson printers

      The Epson printer that I once had (can't remember the model off-hand) had the nozzles built in to the printer; the refills just supplied the ink. Being a low-volume home user, the nozzles blocked very quickly, and the 'cleaning' program was useless; the printer was then a 'brick'.

      So it was back to HP, but with third-party refilled cartridges; occasionally one might be a dud, but over-all it worked out cheaper.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not going to happen

    As less and less people pay for stuff, you need more and more ways to protect content.

    I know kids that have hundreds of GB of films and music, none of it paid for. They are too stupid to work out that if nobody buys, nobody can afford to make the content.

    They whinge about one direction and how crap movies are, but rip everything off and can't see they are part of the peoblem

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Not going to happen

      "I know kids that have hundreds of GB of films and music, none of it paid for. They are too stupid to work out that if nobody buys, nobody can afford to make the content.

      They whinge about one direction and how crap movies are, but rip everything off and can't see they are part of the peoblem"

      Hundreds of GBs of films and music is many thousands of pounds in cost. Where exactly do children get this sort of money?

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Not going to happen

        @DavCrav

        "Where exactly do children get this sort of money?"

        Or to use the same argument...

        60" smart TVs and new BMWs also cost thousands of pounds...so presumably it's okay to steal them if you don't have the cash?

        DRM is bad, but so is freeloading. Content creators do have a right to be paid for their work.

        1. Christian Berger Silver badge

          Re: Not going to happen

          "DRM is bad, but so is freeloading. Content creators do have a right to be paid for their work."

          Yes, but those are separate topics. DRM does not cause less to be "stolen", but more. DRM essentially removes the legal difference between pirating an buying since both are illegal.

          In the end, we must deal with people getting paid with just another drop in the cost of reproducing works. Yes, that's a challenge, but we have done rather well so far... or how many journalists do you see complaining about the fact, that newspaper companies can print their stories for fractions of a cent a piece?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Pen-y-gors - Re: Not going to happen

          Wrong analogy!

          A stolen BMW or Smart TV is one physical item less for the manufacturer/dealer/retailer to sell and that results in a direct loss. Copying a DVD does not deprive the retailer of an inventory unit to sell, however they automatically assume the so called pirate would surely have purchased the item which is not always the case.

          This is why I consider the label "piracy" unsuited for this type of situations.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Pen-y-gors - Not going to happen

            "A stolen BMW or Smart TV is one physical item less for the manufacturer/dealer/retailer to sell and that results in a direct loss. Copying a DVD does not deprive the retailer of an inventory unit to sell, however they automatically assume the so called pirate would surely have purchased the item which is not always the case."

            Not always, but maybe. IOW, not all pirating results in lost sales, but some do get tempted away from the stores, meaning to the movie companies, it matters (many have investors to satisfy).

            And that bit about kiddies sharing terabytes of movies and such? Quite true in parts of the world. These parts of the world, you almost never see BluRay discs but you still see lots of 1080p movies being played. Makes you wonder where they're coming from. As for the costs involved, sharing tends to spread the costs of ripping; buy a few, typically used, rip and share with friends who got other movies.

            1. Permidion

              Re: @Pen-y-gors - Not going to happen

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Taping_Is_Killing_Music

              that was in the 1980s

              music majors still exist today, dont they?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Pen-y-gors - Not going to happen

                But IIRC not to the extent they did then. Most of the labels either faded away or consolidated into megalabels to have the size and pull they need to weather it out.

            2. tesmith47

              Re: @Pen-y-gors - Not going to happen

              in my experience the overwhelming number of folks who view or have pirate copys cannot afford and will not be buying the corporate trash, so basically they're not losing a sale but getting free advertisement. (in my opinion the corporate movie and music trash is not worth buying any way so they should rent it because most will be thrown away after a few uses!!) ps i am old and dont look at (mostly racist) hollywood movies and dont listen to the "modern popular music" i do Coltrane and Bach etc.

        3. channel extended
          Devil

          Re: Not going to happen

          So, I am a content creator by posting this comment.

          When do I get the check?

        4. tesmith47

          Re: Not going to happen

          if the creators were getting the majority of the money you might have a argument, but they are not , the corporate leeches are sucking up most of the money!!

    2. tesmith47

      Re: Not going to happen

      i dont look at or listen to any of the crap put out today. BUT i understand folks pirate tuff, when i was younger movies were about $2 and the fancy theaters were $5 now you are lucky to go to a movie for $12 records were $6-8 dollars now cds are $16 but peoples incomes have not kept up with the increases. I dont understand why music that is 40 -50 years old cost as much as new "music" hasent everyone been paid yet!!??

  6. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Copyright meme peddling

    As less and less people pay for stuff, you need more and more ways to protect content.

    Stuff your whiney irrelevant "MUH CONTENTS" shit and keep it for an Orlo thread. (Hey wait, tons of studios are demanding money on the street because they are dying on the vine ... ? WOW, ACTUALLY NOT! Anyway ... )

    We are talking about opening up things that MUST be inspected. Medical devices. Car MCUs. Voting machines. IoT crap. Network devices. That's what we are talking about. Not the "but I'm losing money on sales that never would have made anyway" talking point.

    (Reminds me that I still have to hand over a few bucks to soma.fm)

  7. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Beware TTIP and other nasty treaties

    These will enshrine DRM into law in literally 75% of all 192(or thereabouts) of all countries in the world.

    The USA (Hollywood and the Senators who are in their $$$ bill lined pockets) do not want a DRM free world.

    In their eyes anything not protected with DRM is a fake. Nothing should ever enter public domain.

    Soon we will onlt be able to buy TV's etc that will only play DRM'd data streams.

    That is the reality of the future.

    We'd better get used to it sad as it is.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Beware TTIP and other nasty treaties

      So going back to the article, how would the media companies placate the security researchers? What happens when copyright stands in the way of an overriding concern like public safety? If someone dies because copyright prevents proper research into a flaw in a medical device, a lawsuit could challenge the whole shebang. How would the copyright trolls defend a death?

    2. Maelstorm Bronze badge

      Re: Beware TTIP and other nasty treaties

      And the moment that someone is unable to play a 1990's era DVD or a home video on said device, all hell will break loose.

  8. skswave

    When does Privacy become DRM

    With services like Wickr, Chadder, Threema providing encrypted chat and the FBI complaining about messaging they can't access it seems EFF is in a tough position on Security vs Privacy. On one hand the use of strong Crypto to protect the Digital right to peaceful assembly seems Great. However if Disney where to use it to protect a movie it seems bad. As the conversation rises to the level of National debate it is going to have to become much more nuanced. using the gun lobby as a reference (I am sure this is not Politically Correct But ) Should we have the right to reasonably strong Crypto but really strong Crypto should only be delivered to Licensed professionals (personally I don't believe this) Should it be an individual right but not for public use? Personal texting is okay Disney movies are not okay. Can the government "hack" your Crypto without a warrant. Real Crypto with Real Security in hardware is on the way. It is technology that will be used by all sides in the debate.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: When does Privacy become DRM

      It's very much like guns, in that the very thing you need to defend yourself in a world of minutes away when seconds count is also the very thing that can start a massacre. It's part and parcel, inseparable. The only thing that determines its ultimate role is the holder, and it's AFAWK impossible to determine how the holder will use it before the deed is already done.

      IOW, it's a "dual use" technology, with both sides being able to go to uncomfortable extremes. Knowledge of the atom is another extreme one (atomic power = GOOD, atomic bombs = BAD). And it's hard to perform a risk assessment because of those extremes; we can't see far enough into those extremes to be able to balance it out against human uncertainty.

  9. tesmith47

    if the public would boycott ALL of the recorded crap for just 1 week their pocket book would convince them to be fair!! after all NONE of it is necessary for life in any way. hell, pick up a damn BOOK,!! fuck corporate electronic media!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That'll never happen. For many, music IS essential for everyday life (otherwise, it becomes, "All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy"...). And books take up time and space. So they'll respond, "F F-ing!" and just go on with their lives. That's why truly smart people (in contrast to manipulative bastards) don't win elections. The manipulators know how to win the stupid votes with empty promises.

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